Saw this on reddit:
Letters of Note: Slaughterhouse Five
It seems great writers have had horrific things happen to them or around them. Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) lost his brother in a steamship explosion, John Gardner lost his young brother by accidentally running over him with a tractor, and Kurt Vonnegut lived through the bombing of Dresden as a prisoner-of-war. If it takes such tragedy or deprivation to be a great writer, I would rather be unremarkable.
In a letter to his parents about his ordeals Vonnegut wrote:
On about February 14th the Americans came over, followed by the R.A.F. their combined labors killed 250,000 people in twenty-four hours and destroyed all of Dresden — possibly the world’s most beautiful city. But not me.
I think that writing is the only way for some people to cope. Our lives are richer for them having written and for that I am grateful. I’ve been fortunate but I know fortune can change.